Dear Friends of St Peter and St John Church,
Update on Project Welcome Thank you for the interest you have expressed in Project Welcome. We’d like to update on what’s been happening. Project Welcome is the name given to our desire to have our bricked up front door re-opened, along with a substantial amount of internal rearranging to make the community facilities in our church more accessible and welcoming.
Permissions We now finally have all the permissions. The Diocesan Advisory Committee issued the Faculty (ie permission) on our submitted plans on 13th June 2016. However there were some outstanding details that need to be agreed and these have just been settled. It has been a very slow process getting this permission and we have at times felt like giving up. Rugby Borough Council gave us the permission we required from them within a month or two. Both permissions only last for a set period of time: the DAC faculty stands until June 2018 and the RBC permission also has another two years left, it was for three years but we have had to wait for over a year for the Church authorities. The fact that the ‘clock is ticking’ on these permissions lends urgency to the other aspect of this project: fund-raising.
Fund-raising: Back in October 2015, we held a gift day for Project Welcome. We raised around £36,000. This was hugely encouraging and after gift aid was reclaimed the total came to around £40,000. Some of this money has now been spent on the necessary plans required by the DAC in order to grant the faculty. These plans would have to have been drawn up anyway in order for us to go ahead. We are now at the point of instructing our architect to put the plans out to tender as we need more accurate estimates of costs in order to put in funding applications.
Until we have any new information, the original estimate of the total cost is still our best guide but it is only a guide. So you can see that while £40,000 might be very encouraging from a small congregation we still have a long way to go and will need all the help we can get, both human and divine!
It was a big encouragement in May 2016 that Bishop Christopher stopped by on his Pilgrimage and prayed for the project.
This year though we have had some very generous friends who have helped us begin to develop and care for the community aspects of the building in ways that have been very helpful.
In March our railings were repainted for us by a team of volunteers from ABC electrical and Network Rail. Melbros Building Supplies were also extremely generous with donations of paint.
In April we held a Community Leaders Breakfast attended by 17 local business and community leaders, many of whom went on to play a vital role in the Celebrate Our Community Day on June 11th. Tesco raised £270 for us by raffling off a TV and then another £170 at our Community day by holding tombola stall. They also helped us out by providing refreshments for a fund-raising fashion show. Thank you Sharon from Tescos!
Also in April Bellway Homes and TLC landscaping installed two raised beds in our grounds, free of charge. The idea behind these beds (known as PJ Veg Beds) is that they become a community resource, not just providing vegetables but also offering opportunities for community connection and learning together. For more info on this email firstname.lastname@example.org or look on the website under the PJ Veg Beds page.
In late May The Princes Trust sent a team of young people to repaint our Church Hall, they did a great job again at no cost to us and even managed to do a lot of tidying around the garden as well
In June we held our Celebrating our Community Day and officially opened the PJ Veg Beds. We also dedicated a new garden bench purchased by the Ladies Group in memory of Edith Ingram.
In July another team of young people came from ‘The Challenge’ and got us started on a redecoration of the choir vestry. Church members pulled together to finish the painting so the choir vestry, rear entrance and toilet is now looking much more presentable. Generous donations from church members allowed for new curtains and a new carpet. The plan is to use the room as more of a seminar room to hold small courses.
Also in July Sheila was invited to Knightlow Primary School where a group of enterprising Year 6 children had been inspired during a visit during the Bishop’s pilgrimage to raise funds for Project Welcome. They made cookies, sold cakes and washed cars raising an amazing £150 for us. Finally in July Clifton Chiropractic, our near neighbours along the road from the church, entered a team into the Rugby Half Marathon on our behalf. Four runners raised over £400 for us.
We are hugely grateful to everyone who has helped us so far. We would ask you please to continue to remember us, both in prayer and in action.
If you would like to support us financially there are a number of ways. Cheques to be written to St Peter and St John Church ‘Project Welcome’ or you can pay by BACS to Lloyds sort code: 309717 Acct number: 41213168. If possible please download and complete a Gift Aid form from our website (www.peterjohnchurch.org.uk see the Project Welcome page) and send that to us along with your gift. If you are able to donate online go to Justgiving and search for Project Welcome at PJs. From this page you can make a one off donation or contribute a regular monthly amount. You can also leave a support message on the website perhaps dedicating your gift in someone’s memory. Donating online means the Giftaid can be collected automatically for us.
We are currently making applications for large amounts of funding, please pray that these will be successful and meanwhile if you have any fund-raising ideas of your own, small or large, it’s easy to set up a page on Justgiving to get your friends to sponsor you to climb a mountain, have your head shaved or sit in a bath of beans (other ideas are equally acceptable!)
We will try to send out another newsletter in the new year, meanwhile do keep an eye on the website for update.
Sheila Bridge (Rev) Minister in Charge St Peter and St John’s Church.